African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development
On the 10th of August 2019, the 8th African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development was celebrated. The African Union had declared this day under the Article 20 of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development as adopted at the Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government, held from June 26 - 27, 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The heads of state and government set this day as an annual reminder to work towards the values and principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development.
This special day should contribute to more participation of citizens and social groups. It offers the opportunity to discuss the challenges the states are facing in the implementation of decentralisation and local development and is the perfect occasion to recognise the achievements that were made.
The 8th African Day of Decentralisation was held under the theme ‘The Promotion and Effective Implementation of Local Economic Development as a Sustainable Solution for Regional and Local Communities to Forced Migration in Africa’.
As other countries, Cameroon has experiences with refugees and IDPs and the impact this can cause to communities and their development. Therefore, this annual day was used in Cameroon to reflect on the question how local economic development could constitute a lasting solution for these local and regional collectives in the face of forced migration. In Luanshya, Zambia, even a local government week took place with different activities and speeches from local authorities of different African municipalities. The events contributed to the education of the public on various developed governance programmes.
With the annual celebration of the African Day of Decentralisation and Local Development an important milestone towards the effective recognition of local governments as important stakeholders within the development of the African continent is made.